History & Tourism

Ohio Digital Network Launched; Richland County Items Included

7 Mar , 2018  

Last week, the State Library of Ohio announced the launch of the Ohio Digital Network.

Vintage photos of the Kingwood Center mansion’s interior are just some of the over 90,000 new materials from Ohio Digital Network which are now discoverable in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Led by the State Library of Ohio and in partnership with Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK)Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), and Ohio History Connection, the Ohio Digital Network builds on strong digital collection efforts across the state including Ohio Memory and the Ohio Digitization Hubs project.

The State Library is one of the eleven Ohio libraries and cultural institutions members with collections in the initial launch of the Ohio Digital Network. As a part of DPLA, students and teachers, researchers, and history buffs can now explore all of these rich collections from across the state in one place alongside millions of resources from the growing DPLA network of partners.

“The State Library of Ohio is very proud to have led the Ohio Digital Network to this important point.  We are very appreciative of the tremendous amount of work done by the many dedicated people in our partner institutions across the state,” expressed State Librarian Beverly Cain.  “We look forward to working with them, and with our partners at DPLA, to continue developing Ohio’s contributions to this culturally and historically significant collection of resources.”

The collections shared by members of the Ohio Digital Network represent stories that are both unique to Ohioans and part of our shared national story. Materials such as the Fishes of the Great Lakes poster, wartime propaganda posters and oral histories about the May 4, 1970 Kent State shooting shed light on turning point moments in twentieth century history. Collections such as Kenyon College’s Latino-American experiences in rural Knox County and Ohio’s LGBT communities from the Ohio History Connection, represent the lives, work, and relationships of local Ohioans, and ensure that the stories, voices, and experiences of these communities are captured as part of our national heritage. Ohio Digital Network also brings unique materials for gaming (old school, that is) and ornithology enthusiasts too—the Cleveland Public Library’s collection on the history of chess and checkers and John James Audubon’s beautiful bird illustrations from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are not to be missed.

“OhioLINK and its member libraries are extremely pleased to participate in the initial launch of the Ohio Digital Network collections in the DPLA. Ohio has a long history of collaboration among its library and cultural heritage organizations,” stated Gwen Evans, Executive Director of OhioLINK. “The breadth of digital collections contributed by our partners in Ohio and the connections between those collections make the whole much more than the sum of its parts.”

“OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network, was created when Ohio’s public library community came together in a spirit of collaboration and innovation, and I’ve seen this same energy and excitement invested in the Ohio Digital Network,” said Don Yarman, Executive Director of OPLIN. “We have built so many, amazing digital treasures over the past few decades, and I am eager for Ohio’s libraries and cultural institutions to reach this important milestone of contributing collection data to DPLA, and sharing their wealth through this portal.”

Preview highlights from these collections below or dive right in to explore Ohio’s collections.

  • The State Library of Ohio’s federal and state documents collections add to the vast selection of government posters, reports, maps, and other documents in DPLA. The Fishes of the Great Lakes illustrates 52 species which have been important in the food and recreational fisheries or have had special ecologic significance in the 20thcentury.
  • The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s World War II poster collection joins a rich body of wartime posters in DPLA. One of the strengths of this collection is its international posters, like the Come Into the Factories poster designed to recruit women for factory work. The poster was published in London during World War II.
  • Shared in partnership with Ohio History Connection, the Gay Ohio History Initiative collection documents organizing and activism within Ohio’s gay and lesbian communities during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Ornithologists and nature art fans will want to explore the John James Audubon Birds of America collection from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The collection includes 435 plates from Audubon’s landmark publication, The Birds of America, which was published between 1827 and 1838, and documents the bird species of North America, including the Carolina Turtle Dove.

The Ohio Digital Network will continue to work with libraries, archives, and cultural heritage organizations to grow Ohio content in DPLA. Additional collections from the original eleven participating institutions as well as collections from other institutions will be added over time.

The work of Ohio Digital Network is generously supported in part by LSTA funds awarded to the State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN).

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